“As databases continue to grow and as customer preferences start to get tracked, one can start analyzing that data and do some predictive modelling – one can begin to figure out what kind of houses suit which buyers better,” says Martin Charlwood, CEO of Century 21 Canada. “That will allow realtors to do a better job of finding a new home more quickly for a purchaser, or selling a home faster for a seller.”
The use of social media can play a vital role in reaching out and keeping top-of-mind with clients, says Jack Miller, the chief technology officer for Century 21 Canada.
“If you are going to do anything, Facebook is the go-to place with the largest consumer audience,” he says. “It is also where people spend most of their time compared to any other social network.” But you don’t want to be overtly selling or over-promoting your services on Facebook because this is not the most effective way to use this site.”
What does work is relationship building via Facebook, says Miller.
“When you are commenting on someone’s photo of their kid at a soccer game, you are building the relationship,” he says. “Later, when they are thinking about buying or selling a home, they value you as a person, they see you as engaged in their network– and will be more likely to choose you as their agent when they’re ready to transact.
“I see it as a natural extension of the networking that agents should be doing to build good relationships.”
Having the right marketing platform has now become vital for recruiting, and established realtors know they need it, and it’s a must to attract millennials.
“We’re gaining our share of millennials, because they recognize the great competitive tools that we have in place,” says Charlwood. “They understand that it gives them an edge in the marketplace.”
And that marketplace is now worldwide, with Canada at or near the top of the list for desirable places to live.
And if you are a seller, the more exposure your property gets, the better value you are likely to receive, says Charlwood.
“Century 21 is the largest real estate company in the world, and that means we can market your property to buyers from around the world,” says Charlwood, “and with our Century 21 Global website, our listings get exposed in 78 countries, and operates in 16 different languages.”
And that is what customers expect in today’s globally connected marketplace, he says.
For existing clients, the potential of predictive modelling is a powerful tool for Realtors.